Synonyms: Charcoal Feather Federation
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 10, 2002 to Dec 19, 2002
24 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.131 (scored by 33965 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
drama fantasy mystery slice of life
SynopsisA dream of falling from the sky... and then birth. Rakka is born from a large cocoon into the Old Home, greeted by a group of females with small wings on their backs and shining halos above their heads. Soon Rakka’s own wings grow, a halo is placed on her head and she is told that she must work in the nearby town of Grie. She soon realizes that the town and the entire world they live in are confined behind the Wall, a tall, impenetrable wall that none except the mysterious Toga are allowed to exit.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Old Home no Haibane-tachi
Characters & Voice Actors
This is the most striking anime I've ever seen. The care and imagination that went into every aspect of the show is remarkable, but due to the slow, gentle nature of the series I wouldn't recommend it to everyone, if only because this isn't a typical anime in terms of plot. The suspense is subtle -- difficult to spot if you're watching it for the first time -- and builds up over half of the series. Haibane Renmei starts off languid and mysterious, and it tapers off just as languid and mysterious, and every episode seems to reveal more questions that never get answered. Even with the sudden spike in conflict later in the series, most of it is internal.
Don't be fooled by the angel-like appearance, by the way. Religion has nothing to do with this anime, and ABe has said before that it's a purely aesthetic choice, though some do feel that there's symbolism involved.
That said, it's provocative and heartbreaking and dreamlike. Pacing is slow, but expertly done. You'll find that one episode transitions easily into the next. And so much of the story is implied... as well as character backgrounds and the like.
Its art doesn't try to wow the viewer, and it seems content to just let the setting and soft colors and unique character designs speak for themselves. The backgrounds are gorgeous and detailed. Characters' personalities are mild and realistic; no character gets shoved into the standard archetypes you so often see in anime.
Also notable is the soundtrack. Every song fits the mood of Haibane Renmei perfectly -- especially notable (aside from the opening, "Free Bird," and ending theme "Blue Flow") are "Garasu no Yume," "Ailes Grises," "Starting of the World," and "A Little Plate's Rondo." Many of them feel like lullabies. Personally, the soundtrack is one of my favorite parts of this series, but looking at the other reviews, it looks like I'm the only one who finds it so breathtaking. Your mileage may vary.
It begins by letting the viewer into the peaceful simplicity of daily life in Glie, allowing insight into the setting and the minor characters, but it grows into a story about friendship and letting go and guilt and forgiving yourself and so much more. The climax of the story is likely to make you cry or cringe or suck in your breath -- maybe all three.
At times depressing and at times gently uplifting and feather-soft, Haibane Renmei is unparalleled in beauty, and I wouldn't hesitate to call it my favorite anime of all time. read more
After watching this for a third time in the last eight years, I can still say that this is my favorite anime. The themes are very real to me and if you let yourself be immersed by the characters, culture, and plot, you will walk away with a heavy heart and a full mind.
Like most ABe anime, this is not for everyone.
If you are looking for constant action or laughs, I would chose something else.
The first five episodes are quite slow, but it lets you take in the details. It helps you focus on the characters and realize they were all part of different walks in their previous life. It more importantly sets up the culture and setting, helping you to form your own theories about who the haibane are meant to be.
The sixth episode is where the darker underlying theme start. This series tackles ideas of loss, attachment, depression and suicide. I admit for anyone who has not felt the sense of pure helplessness or bundling emotions until they burst can not fully understand the weight of the internal conflicts both Rakka and Reki face.
I personally view this series with a spiritual mind rather than a religious one. Though haibane resemble angels, they are born again due to some past sin that they committed or couldn't overcome. Their wings are useless, they do not have a connection to a higher being, and they are almost seen as mystical creatures by the residing humans, often described as a cheerful presence that can give good luck. The haibane are instructed not to use anything that wasn't first used by a human, leading me to believe it is a hint for both discrimination and to cut off ties of the material nature of man. Their whole existence is to make peace within themselves so they can escape the walls on their Day of Flight.
This anime teaches you that salvation can not come from yourself. You need to trust others and express your emotions or you will find yourself in the endless, vicious, self-loathing cycle.
"To recognize one's sin is to have no sin. So are you a sinner?"
"But if I believe have no sin I become a sinner."
"This is the cycle of sin. Think about it. To spin in the same circle, looking for where the sin lies, and at some point losing sight of the way out. To find the answer is to find redemption."
If you are someone who has trouble breaking the sinner's paradox, you will forever be sin bound. You need to realize your sin and know that you will sin again, but to learn from your mistakes and help others forgive you. In turn, they will aide you to break the cycle.
Both Rakka and Reki exemplify consuming sin, which is shown by their wings turning a spotty black. Rakka had help from a crow (who was someone she knew in her previous life), which showed that although someone cared for her, after she presumably committed suicide, they still forgave her and wanted to send a message that she was not alone. After overcoming the feelings of wanting to disappear, Rakka uses her strength to help Reki, who was even more hopeless in finding salvation.
The ending is bittersweet, but truly outstanding. This series is haunting yet charming, unique and touching. The musical score is enchanting and although the art may not always be the best, it makes up for it in every other aspect. For someone who constantly struggles with depression, it gives you hope and a reason to trust others, even when you don't believe in yourself. read more
While Haibane Renmei couldn't be more dissimilar, the concept of the characters being in a supposed afterlife or purgatory are both extremely integral to the setting. Although in Angel Beats!, it seems like they fear the next step and thus rebel in anyway to ensure they don't disappear. However, in Haibane Renmei, they do the exact opposite and are more resigned to their fate, and there is little conflict.
Similar premise, very different execution.. Haibane takes away the comedy, action and some cuteness factor in order to bring more deepness to the premise setting, but both anime can leave you wondering the same questions about life purpose, and death.
Similar in both is by accepting yourself(regret) or atone your sin of your past before death you will be free from that world. Born to other world where they had to do work and live on with other people a.k.a citizen of that world.
In both, people are born into another world after they die because of regrets from their life before and stuck there until they can get rid of their regrets and become at peace with themselves.
Angel Beats! and Haibane Renmei have similar concepts, as both are centered around characters who are in a purgatory-like setting. While Angel Beats! has more comedy and action, Haibane Renmei takes a much more serious tone, and also likes to leave things up to the viewer to interpret. Liking one of these shows does not necessarily mean you will like the other, but it is worth trying.
Haibane Renmei is Angel Beats! done right.
Both anime explore the concept of "Afterlife".
The characters appear to be in some sort of afterlife. The characters appear to have all gotten there after suffering some sort of grief or regret in their past life
There is a distinct possibility that most, if not all, of the characters committed suicide
It appears that a primary way to “disappear” from where they are is to forgive themselves for some regret that the held over from their previous life.
Both stories take place in an after life of some sort and has simmilar themes.
Haibane Renmei is more serious then Angel Beats, though.
Both anime explore the concept of "Afterlife", and features the characters being trapped in another world due to their regrets from their past lives. Both characters are required to find peace within themselves to be finally set free.
Haibane Renmei is much more serious and complex, while Angel Beats! is a lot more comedic and action-packed.
+ Different interpretations of the afterlife for a group of people who appear to be adolescents despite not being human
+ The wall in Haibane Renmei is similar to how the world just ends outside of the high school in Angel Beats!
- Angel Beats has action and much more vivid animation (granted it is 8 years younger) than Haibane Renmei which has a much calmer yet eerie atmosphere throughout the show
Both of these shows leave things open-ended, even after the end. If you're interested in thinking about the world that the characters live in when you watch anime, what important concepts are expressed in anime, or want to still think about a show long after it's over, these two shows work well. While they cover different ideas among those concepts, I feel they both cause similar responses.
Both are slow-paced, slice-of-life quiet shows with a lot of character development. Kino's Journey is more episodic, while Haibane Renmei has an over-arching plot.
Slow-paced story about life in a world different than ours. Both anime have the same light atmosphere.
Both are lyrical, soft, eccentric collections of stories about various philosophical observations. Kino is far more preachy and direct with its observations, but is ultimately no less beautiful.
Both Animes start quite slow, and carry on calm and relaxing, but have got a very deep meaning about them. As well, both have got a theme you could call "talk about philosophical life and meanings". A bit exaggerated, but they still definitely have got a special meaning. The Ending is quite open too, nothing really ever happens particular, but still both have got that little, special sparkle, that's rare to find in an anime.
same beautiful and philosophical plot
Both have a calm and slightly ominous atmosphere, make good use of muted colour palettes, and are chock full of metaphor. Kino no Tabi is episodic and more focused on giving a different message or making a different point each episode while Haibane Renmei is built around character interaction and drama.
I found these two series quite alike with their philosophical themes with an emotional story and an insightful main female protagonist. Although slow paced, both of their stories are intriguing and unique that explores subjects that can be emotional for viewers.
Both series also made me think about life and death occasionally that also deals with themes like redemption and forgiveness.
Both series takes an approach in a dream like environment with an insightful depth exploring questions that we often so much around the world. I also found two female protagonist in both series quite similar in several aspects especially in their independence and personalities.
Both series are quite beautiful as well that takes journey of its own.
Both anime have a very similar feel in terms of storytelling and both contain many philosophical and thoughtful undertones, like Kino's Journey Haibane Renmei is very unique and intelligent, and will make you think deeply after every episode. While the plot may be different at the core you will find many similarities, it is safe to say that if you enjoyed Kino's Journey you will definitely enjoy Haibane Renmei.
Opening Theme"Free Bird" by Kou Otani
Ending Theme"Blue Flow" by Heart of Air
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